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Many of our students are struggling to make ends meet, juggling work and family responsibilities in addition to their course load. Anything we can do to help reduce the cost of their education will support their well-being and academic success. Your participation is essential to the success of this effort.  

"When I am registering for classes, I prioritize textbook prices over my interest in the course. I've had to drop courses that I was really interested in because I could not find an option I could afford. I think I would have a more fulfilling education if textbook requirements were affordable because that would allow me to take the courses that I really want to take!" 

-Amy Torres, CSUSM Psychology Major

65% of CSUSM students don’t buy a required text due to the cost, although they realize it will impact their grade negatively.

 For our students:

  • Textbook costs are cited as one of the top two reasons students drop out or don’t matriculate.

  • Almost a quarter of CSUSM students surveyed said they could not afford to purchase all their texts at the start of the semester, putting them at a greater risk of withdrawing or doing poorly in a class.  

  • The cost of textbooks negatively impacts first generation students more than other students. They spend 17% more per textbook but acquire 6% fewer texts.

  • Busy students need and appreciate cost and format choices (online content, ebooks, print), with affordability and ease of access being key factors.

For our faculty:

  • Affordable learning materials provide many ways to improve teaching and learning. On the most basic level, adopting no or low-cost materials INCREASES the chances your students will be able to acquire the course materials and be ready on the first day of class.  

  • Students who use OER in their undergraduate courses perform as well or better than those assigned commercial textbooks, and show higher rates of completion.

  • There are now over 1.8 billion Creative Commons-licensed works. When you adopt OER/Creative Commons licensed works, you’re free to edit, adapt, remix and reuse them, giving you full control over content, sequence and pace.

  • Offering your students open or low-cost materials specifically tailored to your curriculum- without the “fluff”, can help motivate students to read.

  • Improve student satisfaction and course evaluations: In end-of semester feedback, over 90% of the students in CALMed courses find the course materials to be of high quality, relevant and easy to access.

  • Students are appreciative of faculty efforts to reduce textbook costs, and this can translate to a more positive attitude towards new teaching methods and other aspects of the course.

  • Attract students to your courses and discipline by offering a more equitable learning environment and student-centric culture.

  • Digital learning materials are accessible to disabled students, so you won't need to worry about making the materials accessible and students won’t need to wait for textbooks to be scanned by DSS.

What You Can Do